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Working with children with special needs - the models of disability

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Unit 14: Working with children with special needs E1. Under the medical model, disabled people are defined by their illness or medical condition. The medical model promotes the view of a disabled person as dependent and needing to be cured or cared for, and it justifies the way in which disabled people have been systematically excluded from society. The disabled person is the problem, not society. The medical model is sometimes known as the 'individual model' because it promotes the notion that it is the individual disabled person who must adapt to the way in which society is constructed and organised. ...read more.


Under the social model, disability is caused by the society in which we live and is not the 'fault' of an individual disabled person, or an inevitable consequence of their limitations. Disability is the product of the physical, organisational and attitudinal barriers present within society, which lead to discrimination. The social model takes account of disabled people as part of our economic, environmental and cultural society. Barriers still exist in education, information and communication systems, working environments, health and social support services, transport, housing, and public buildings. ...read more.


However, some disabled people and academics are involved in a re-evaluation of the social model and they argue that the time has come to move beyond this basic position. (Disability Models, 2006) "The term 'Special Educational Needs' (SEN) has a legal definition, referring to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age." (DirectGov, 2011) I agree with this statement as I believe SEN is when children need additional help with their learning where as an impairment is the condition that is different from what is expected in a child at particular age or stage of their development. ...read more.

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